National Online Learning for Pork Producers

National Online Learning for Pork Producers

PorkBridge begins June 30 and offers live and downloadable instruction for farmers.

The sixth year of the successful distance education series, PorkBridge, begins June 30.

The 2011-2012 line-up includes a variety of intriguing topics presented by recognized industry experts. Operating through the collaboration of 11 land grant universities, PorkBridge reaches producers and industry professionals across the country and around the world in an every-other-month series of six sessions.

University of Minnesota Extension swine specialist Mark Whitney is the Minnesota contact for PorkBridge. He said the distance education series provides relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities.

"Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up a whole day to attend a meeting," Whitney said. "PorkBridge participants can take part where it works best for them: at home, in an office, or in the swine unit. And everyone can download audio files from each session for later use."

PorkBridge combines electronic information viewed on a computer with live presentations by topic experts via phone. About a week before each session, subscribers receive a CD or web link (depending on their location) that contains that topic's specific presentation and additional information provided by the presenter. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session and follow along with the presentation on their computer. All sessions begin at noon Central time and last approximately 90 minutes. Time for questions of the presenter is part of each session.

The cost to participate in PorkBridge for the 2011-2012 year is a great deal at just $125.

"The amount has not changed since the program began in 2005," Whitney said. "And, thanks to industry support, this year we are able to offer a $50 discount to the first 100 subscribers, making the cost just $75 for the first 100. In order to qualify for this discount, people need to contact Sherry Hoyer by email at [email protected] to receive an individual registration number to use on their registration form."

The subscription form and payment must be received by June 15 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on June 30. The series runs through Aprils 2012. An informational brochure with subscription information is attached to this email and is also available at www.ipic.iastate.edu/PorkBridge/IPIC2011PB.pdf. MN residents wanting more information can also call Whitney at 507-389-5541.

Session dates, speakers, their industry affiliations and topics are as follows.

-June 30, 2011, Eric Farrand, Pfizer, Inc., "How to Most Effectively Identify Pigs Needing Treatment"

-Aug. 4, 2011, Jay Harmon, Iowa State University, "Energy Use and Conservation in Barns"

-Oct. 6, 2011, Steve Dritz, Kansas State University, "How Do We Manage Immune-Castrated Pigs?"

-Dec.1, 2011, Joel Nerem, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, "Biosecurity for Non-Unit Personnel"

-Feb. 2, 2012, Robert Thaler, South Dakota State University, "Quality Control When Using Alternative Ingredients"

-April 5, 2012, Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota, "Tailbiting – Triggers, Prevention, and Treatment"

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